How Much Does It Cost to Replace Air Ducts?


how much does it cost to replace air ducts

Air ducts quietly do an important job in keeping your home comfortable by spreading warm or cool air. However, just like other parts of your home, air ducts might need to be replaced after a while. So, how much does it cost to replace air ducts?


Air duct replacement costs range from $1,450 to $8,000. Factors influencing costs include home size, material choice, and location. Whether opting for professional services or DIY, understanding these factors is crucial for informed decisions.


Now, let’s proceed to the article’s content.

Signs that Air Ducts Need Replacement

Identifying common issues with air ducts is vital for maintaining energy efficiency and indoor air quality:


  • Poor Airflow: Reduced airflow indicates potential issues.
  • Visible Mold: Mold growth signals a need for replacement.
  • Unusual Odors: Foul smells may indicate duct issues.
  • Increased Utility Bills: Leaks or inefficiencies can lead to higher energy costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Air Ducts?

air duct pipe

Thinking about replacing those dusty old air ducts? It’s a smart move for your home’s health and yours! Though air duct cleaning and repair extend its life span, ductwork usually needs major replacement every 15 years to work properly.  


The national average cost for replacing air ducts ranges from $1,450 to $8,000. On a per-linear-foot basis, ductwork installation can range from $250 to $550. In addition, many contractors add extra charges for tasks like taking out the old system, putting in new vents and registers, fixing leaks, adding insulation, or repairing sheet metal.


Think about these other things that can affect the cost:


  • Material: People who work on HVAC systems often use different materials like aluminum, galvanized steel, or fiberglass for the ducts. Generally, steel is the most expensive, and aluminum is the least costly.
  • Location: If it’s hard to reach the ductwork in your home, like in a crawl space, attic, or ceiling, it might make the whole project more expensive.
  • House Size: The bigger your home, the more money it might cost to replace the air ducts. Homes with more than one floor can also be more expensive to work on than single-story houses.


Cost Breakdown of Air Duct Replacement

Let’s explore the breakdown of costs when it comes to replacing air ducts:


Materials Costs

The kind of material you pick for your ductwork affects how much it will cost.


  • Aluminum: This bendable duct is easy to install, shape, and cut, making it a dependable choice. $2–$5 per linear foot.
  • Fiberglass: Fits well in tight spaces but might wear out quickly. $4–$7 per linear foot.
  • Galvanized Steel: Flexible and resistant to rust, making it durable. $4–$12 per linear foot.
  • Polyester: Usually the cheapest material, but it doesn’t last as long. $1–$4 per linear foot.
  • Flex Duct Non-Insulated: Sturdy and fits well in tight spaces but can be damaged by pests. $1–$3 per linear foot.
  • Flex Duct Insulated: Strong and lightweight, but might not last as long as steel or aluminum. $2–$6 per linear foot.


Cost by Location

Where you decide to put the HVAC ducts can change how much the whole project will cost.


Location | Cost per 100 Linear Feet


  • Mobile Home: Putting ducts in a mobile home can cost between $1,000 and $2,900. 
  • Crawl Space: The crawl space is usually small and tough to reach. Contractors might need special tools for this area. So, installing ducts here could cost between $2,200 and $6,000. 
  • Attic: An organized and easy-to-reach attic is what most workers want when putting in HVAC ducts. The extra space and easy stairs make it simpler for the workers. But since attics usually aren’t controlled for temperature, putting ducts here might need more insulation. This can make the total cost go up to between $1,450 and $4,650.
  • Basement: An unfinished basement is one of the cheapest places to replace ducts, starting from just $1,300. But if your basement is more like a finished lower floor, your costs might go up to $4,500 or even more.
  • Wall: Cutting into a finished wall to reach the existing ducts is costly. Workers not only have to do the job but also fix the damaged drywall. If they need to cut more holes for vents, you might end up spending $4,000 or more.


Cost by Home Size

The size of your house affects how much ductwork you need. Here’s a breakdown:


  • 1,000–2,500 square feet: You might need between 110 and 300 linear feet of ductwork, costing $1,155 to $6,212.
  • 2,000–3,500 square feet: Expect to use 220 to 375 linear feet, with costs ranging from $2,310 to $7,750.
  • 3,000–4,500 square feet: For houses in this size range, you could need 330 to 500 linear feet, and the cost might be between $3,465 and $10,380.

Additional Air Duct Replacement Costs

Additional air duct replacement cost

When you replace air ducts, it’s not just about the materials and installing them. You might have to pay for extra things like new insulation, vent installation, and mold cleanup if needed.


Depending on where you live, you might need a permit to replace your home’s air ducts. This costs anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.


Installing Vents

Vents are what let air flow through your home. You need enough vents to make sure the air is spread evenly. Vents can cost different amounts depending on their type and size. On average, they’re around $200–$250 each, but some special vents can go up to $500.



Insulation is crucial for keeping air at a steady temperature as it moves through the ducts. It also stops the air from escaping into places where it shouldn’t, which can waste energy. The cost of insulating your ducts depends on the type of material and the size of the ducts. 


Basic insulation can add $1–$6 per linear foot to your total project. Costs might change based on whether you use fiberglass insulation, preformed duct insulation, or blown-in insulation.


Mold Remediation

If there’s mold in your air ducts, it can add more costs to the air duct replacement. If your home has a past of water damage or other moisture issues, you should check for mold before putting in new ducts. Testing for mold usually costs $250–$700, and removing and fixing it can cost $975–$4,250 or even more. The cost depends on —


  • how severe the mold is, 
  • how long it’s been there, 
  • and how much work is required to address the issue.



Replacing air ducts is often seen as a big home improvement project, and you might need permits to make sure the work is done right and follows local building rules. The cost of permits varies based on where you live.


You might need more repairs before or after putting in the air ducts—either to the ducts themselves or other things connected to the installation.

Type of Repair | Cost


  • Asbestos Removal: $1,000–$2,690
  • Drop Ceiling Installation: $1,350–$2,200
  • Drywall Repair: $350–$900


Visit our insightful blog to learn about the cost of air duct cleaning.

DIY vs. Professional Air Duct Replacement

You have two choices when it comes to replacing your air ducts: hiring a professional or doing it yourself (DIY). The cost of each option depends on your duct’s type and size, as well as how complicated the job is. 

Both options have good and not-so-good things. Make sure to do your research and think about everything before deciding which is better for your home.


Professional Air Duct Replacement

If opting for professional air duct replacement, selecting an experienced and certified service provider is crucial. A reputable service for air duct replacement should encompass the following attributes

  • Checking your existing air ducts, looking at their condition and the materials used.
  • Removal of any old stuff, like insulation, vents, and the old ductwork.
  • Putting in new ducts, along with new vents and insulation where it’s needed.

Having a professional ensures the job is done well, saving you time and money in the long run. Professional installation can also bring down energy costs by making sure the air duct system is properly sealed and insulated.

The only not-so-good thing about hiring a professional is the cost. Professional services can be between $17.50 and almost $32 for each linear foot, depending on how complicated the job is and how much material needs replacing. It’s a good idea to get quotes from different professionals to make sure you’re getting the best price.

DIY Air Duct Replacement

In many places, it’s against the law to replace your air ducts unless you’re a licensed HVAC contractor.

If you have the right license, doing the job yourself can save you money, but only if you have the right tools and know-how. Replacing air ducts is a tricky and potentially unsafe task, so it’s better to hire someone if you’re not confident in your skills.

To replace air ducts on your own, you’ll need things like sheet metal, hangers, vent boots, duct sealant, insulation, and duct tape. You’ll also need basic tools such as a saw, hammer, drill, screwdriver, and level. Depending on the type of ducts you’re replacing, you might need special tools too.

The main problem with doing it yourself is that it’s a hard and tiring job. Doing it wrong can lead to —


  • air leaks, 
  • issues with air pressure, 
  • or even health problems from mold or bad insulation.

If you decide to replace the air ducts yourself, it’s super important to research the process well and really understand what you’re doing before you start.

How to Hire a Professional for Air Duct Replacement

How to Hire a Professional for Air Duct Replacement

It’s crucial to find a good professional to replace your air ducts. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:


  • Look into contractors in your area who are certified and have experience.
  • Get price estimates from different companies before deciding.
  • Read online reviews and take suggestions from your family and friends.
  • Make sure the contractor you pick has the right licenses and insurance.
  • Ask questions to understand the project better—what needs to be done, how long it will take, and what materials are needed.
  • Make sure the contractor gives you an estimate before initiating the project, and confirm the timeline and cost before going ahead.
  • Think about signing a contract to protect yourself from any possible problems or disagreements.


Read our blog to find out the best time of year to clean air ducts.

So, Is Air Duct Replacement Worth the Cost?

If your air ducts are more than 15 years old, spending money on air duct replacement is probably a good idea. According to ENERGY STAR, old duct systems with leaks can make your heating and cooling system 20% less efficient. That means by installing new, well-sealed, and insulated air ducts, you could save a good amount of money.

Besides the impact on your bills, fixing leaks in your ducts can often make the air inside your home better and reduce things in the air that might not be good for you

air duct pipe

If your air ducts are still okay, you might not need a full replacement. Small leaks can usually be fixed with duct sealant, especially if they’re in easy-to-reach spots. You can ask your HVAC professional to check your ducts and tell you how much it might cost to fix them. They might also suggest cleaning your air ducts at the same time.


If you want top-notch air duct cleaning in Austin, TX, go for Austin Chimney & Air Duct Solutions – the trusted and highly-rated experts. Improve the air quality in your home, get rid of dust and allergens, and enjoy more comfort with our excellent services.


Our skilled professionals use advanced tools to make sure you’re happy with our reliable and outstanding air vent cleaning in Austin. Ask for a free estimate today!


Wrapping Up

To sum it up, understanding the factors influencing air duct replacement costs is key to making informed decisions for your home. On average, it can be anywhere from $1,450 to $8,000, depending on various factors.

Whether you get professionals to help or do it yourself, making sure your air ducts are in good shape is like investing in better air quality and saving energy in your home. So, how much does it cost to replace air ducts? It varies, but the advantages for your home and bills make it a good thing to think about.


What is the lifespan of air ducts?

Air ducts typically last 10-15 years with proper care, but factors like material, location, and maintenance can affect their lifespan. Consider professional cleaning or replacement if you experience uneven air flow, high energy bills, or visible mold.

Which is better, duct or ductless?

Duct systems are good for cooling/heating big areas, while ductless systems are great for individual rooms. Choose based on your needs and home design!

Why replace air ducts?

Replace air ducts if they’re over 15 years old to avoid problems like pests, gaps, or collapses. This ensures comfort and prevents issues.

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